'55 WESTERN CANADIAN CHAMPS- 2ND MINTO CUP FINAL
Manitoba Junior All Star coach, Johnny Arondeus, bolstered the 1954 Eastern Canadian Junior Championship roster with the addition of top-notch juvenile players: Harry Nightingale, Gerry Kline, and Lorne Kenyon.
The three youngsters will have plenty of support from Minto Cup experienced veterans: Ralph Lyndon, Ross Fargey, Dick Paulley, Len Morrow, Bob Currie, Jack Carnegie, Gord Chem, Darryl Young, Garry Alcorn, Gord Horner, Ted Derrett, Joe Hunt, Bill Friessen, and Barry McQueen. This squad will play in front of standout goaltending from Mike Tymtschyn. "Sir Mike's" goal tending was the difference in Manitoba defeating Long Branch in the '54 Eastern finals.
The defending Minto Cup Champion Mount Pleasant PNE Indians will challenge the most skilled and experienced All Star team Manitoba has ever fielded. The Indians have not lost a game in two years, capturing the '53 and '54 Minto Cups. West Coast pundits have labeled this BC collection of lacrosse players as one of the best teams ever to present their province. Built upon the steady goal tending of Norm Lee, who out dueled Manitoba in last years Minto Cup Final and a powerful offensive attack built around Tom Murphy, Ron Phillips, Donn Wheating, and Don Cunnungham, The PNE crew provides Manitoba with a nearly insurmountable task. The winner of the western series will play the winner of the New Market and Long Branch Eastern final.
The hustling Manitoba team jumped out to 2-1 lead after the first period on goals by Gord Chem and Ted Derrett and 5-4 on goals by Hunt, Chem, and Derrett. In the third period the smooth passing of the Indians jumped out to an 8-7 lead over the panicking "Toba Team. Manitoba scorers were Hunt and Derrett. In the final period Manitoba settled down, playing strong defensive game, while getting goals from Ralph Lyndon, Barry McQueen, and the winner from Harry Nightingale. With 10 minutes left in the period. BC pulled out all the stops pounding Tymtschyn, but "Mr. Mike" stood his ground, turning away many point blank opportunities, giving the home side a 9-8 victory, handing the BC team their first loss in two years. The only disappointment of the evening was that the game was only played in front of 500 fans.
The loss in game one did not sit well with the visiting team, as they attacked with vengeance pounding the home team 13-7. It was a rough, fast, and close game with the Indians jumping out to 4-3 first period lead. Inconsistent officiating right from the start marred the game, ultimately leading to the turning point in the third period (with each team scoring 2 goals) when the officials decided to give Manitoba' s Ted Derrett a double-major and 5 minute misconduct for butt-ending, causing Manitoba to play short handed for most of the third period and part of the final period. BC outscored the exhausted and frustrated Manitoba squad 3-2. Manitoba scorers were McQueen and Harris, each scoring 2, and Paulley, Chem, and Fargey chipping in one each. The 1200 fans left the game frustrated and disappointed with the officiating, but recognizing the PNE team was superior tonight.
The third and deciding game was played in front of a raucous crowd of over 1300 at the Olympic Rink. It was a speedy and rugged game from the start- both teams playing physical while avoiding penalties. Many old time lacrosse people described it as the best lacrosse game played in Winnipeg. Both team emphasizing defense, played cautiously with the first period ending 2-2. Manitoba came out flying after the first period taking 4-2 lead at half time and an 8-6 spread at the end of the third. The final period was fast and furious as the local team pushed to get a 3 goal margin, while the visitors, riding on the coat tails of burly Bill Barbour pressed to within one goal. Ultimately the game was decided with 43 seconds left when diminutive Gord Horner potted the insurance marker. In the end the margin of victory was the playing the Manitoba's peppery goalie, Mike Tymtyscyn who made 56 saves- many grade A scoring opportunities. The crowd carried "Mr. Mike" out on their shoulders at the conclusion of the game.
Two days later, hundreds of fans saluted the team as their train pulled out bound for Brampton, where they will meet the eastern champions, Long Branch Monarchs. A quickly planned and executed fund raising appeal was launched to cover the costs of travel, accommodations, and meals. Manitoba's share of the gate from the three game series was not going to be enough to cover the team's expenses. Winnipeg lacrosse fans (especially those from Elmwood) came through to help pay the team's bills.
The train-weary and short-handed Manitoba squad (only 14 players made the trip east losing Ted Derrett who was injured in practice) was no match for the highly motivated Long Branch Monarchs falling 10-5 in the first game of the series. Monarchs still stinging from their loss to Manitoba in the '54 eastern finals made sure they were prepared for their western opponents. Part of their preparation was to pick up 5 players from other junior teams in Ontario (as allowed by the CLA rules). These five players had a role in all 10 Monarch goals. Manitoba took at 1-0 lead in the first minute of day, but played catch up the remainder of the game. Joe Hunt and Harry Nightingale paced the "Toba attack with 2 goals each. Ted Harris chipped in a single.
The second game of the best of seven series was postponed because of rain and was played a day later. Long Branch took a 2-0 lead by wining the second game 14-6 over the visiting Winnipeg team. The routed started early, with the Monarchs scoring 4 goals in the first eight minutes. Manitoba battled back to tie the game at four, with help from Ted Derrett coming of the injured list prior to the game and Ralph Lyndon who arrived just in time to play the game. Both made considerable contributions both on offense and defense. Both coaches admitted after the game, the quality of play was affected by poor officiating, leading to both teams rough play accounting for 26 minor penalties and much of the game being played short handed. Manitoba was lead by captain Ted harris with 2 goals and singles by Harry Nightingale, Barry McQueen, Joe hunt, and Ralph Lyndon.
In the third game the frustrated, flustered, and fatigued Manitoba side was walloped 11-3. The Manitoba side did not quit, as they continued to battle back into the game. Their undoing was taking 10 minor penalties and a game misconduct that allowed the talented Monarch power play to take control of the game. Manitoba scorers were Gord Chem, Ralph Lyndon, and Gord Horner.
In the fourth game, the All Stars gained their composure and focus and played a hard clean game from start to finish, losing 9-3. The local newspaper described this fourth game of series as one on the best games seen in many a year. Ralph Lyndon started the scoring for the visitors in the first four minutes, but was all Long Branch from there. The talented (some would say the stacked Monarch team with five "pick ups") out played the determined but less experienced Winnipeg group. Winnipeg outplayed the home side at times, but was turned back by Monarch goalie Porky Russell. Scores for the All Stars were Lyndon, Horner, and Hunt.
With a number of All Stars graduating the junior ranks it is hoped that their experience in two Minto Cup finals can be passed onto the next generation of all stars.